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Is Ur-Shurgi the most hated in VTM or is there competition?

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  • Is Ur-Shurgi the most hated in VTM or is there competition?

    I'm just curious as he can't be the only misfire that this series created.


    What in the name of Set is going on here?

  • #2
    I mean, there's plenty of worse ideas but I almost dread bringing them up.

    I mean...

    Himmler of the Sabbat.


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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    • #3
      The title seems a little click-baity, but I'll bite.

      Are you basing this idea on actual evidence, or is it more of an assumption? I don't hate Ur-Shulgi at all. But then, scary-OP Methuselahs are one of the things I like about VtM.

      I can maybe think of a few particular facets of characters that I hate (a few Ventrue with some decidedly WTF feeding requirements come to mind), but I don't know if I could name a single character that I just absolutely hate in the entire canon. Mind you, there's lots of stuff I haven't read yet, maybe they're out there somewhere.

      Edit: Ok, I forgot about Berlin By Night. I still dunno if I'd quite use the word "hate," but excellent point from CTPhipps. *shudders*
      Last edited by Kharnov; 07-30-2022, 01:42 PM.

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      • #4
        What do you mean by most hated? In universe? I would say either Harold Zettler, A Board of Director of Pentex, a Malkavian 5th Gen. Who also created a whole path of Dark Thaumaturgy, which allows you to host a Maeljin Incarna at the highest level.

        Or Shaitan, who is also a good candidate for the most hated in universe. Along with...Nurgal? I think, I am rusty in VTM.

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        • #5
          the whole of clan baali?

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          • #6
            Is Ur-Shulgi actually hated or loved to hate?

            Ur-Shulgi is a character that is probably the most controversial in V:TM with the possible exception of Sabbat Lucita. I wouldn't say that he's universally hated, though. There's also the difference between "hate" and "love to hate" which I drew as a distinction in the NPC thread and might have inspired this thread.

            Ur-Shulgi is a ten ton wrecking ball to most campaigns if you introduce him and your only ways of doing so are either as a presence the PCs are never going to encounter or something that NPCs have to deal with (I.E. Transylvania Chronicles). The PCs will possibly hear of him from Banu Haqim defectors or deal with Ur-Shulgi's cultists. He's a character that may be an enemy if they're Banu Haqim themselves but you're not ever going to get into a fist-fight with him.

            However, it's also possible to deal with Ur-Shulgi. I mentioned the Transylvania Chronicles where you encounter people like Tremere, Kupala, and Yorak. Now, you'll never get into a fist fight with
            Ur-Shulgi but maybe you can do a campaign about finding Ur-Shulgi's true name, getting the help of an Archdemon to kill him, or even beseeching Haqim to whoop his ass. Which basically means Ur-Shulgi is Sauron. Sauron can't be beaten in a fist fight, Isildur aside. No, you need to find the Macguffin and tossing the object into a volcano. Any reasonable vampire campaign dealing with Ur-Shulgi has to have you as the Hobbits and that's not something most vampires are up to doing.

            As a background element, Ur-Shulgi also kind of wrecks the background of more lower stakes vampire games because he confirms Gehenna is real and that vampire demigods can pop up at any time.

            But SOME people like that?


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            • #7
              Ur-Shulgi is a perfectly fine character if an ST actually wants to run a Gehenna chronicle where the PCs roleplay out the beginning of the end of the world and thus the the beginning of the destruction of the actual game setting itself. Which is what the Revised Developer Justin Achilli wanted the setting to be.

              He's a terrible character to exist in any chronicle that is NOT about Gehenna and the end of the world.

              The problem is that most STs and players do NOT want their chronicles to be about Gehenna and the destruction of the game's setting. They want a stable Camarilla. They want the Sabbat to be recognizably Sabbat. They want all the toys to remain the toybox so they can keep using them.

              Unfortunately, this was not limited to Ur-Shulgi. Revised introduced a lot of concepts that simply harm the setting if it is not a Gehenna style chronicle where everything breaks down. If Gehenna is going to happen, then major things like the Gangrel leaving the Camarilla en masse, the Sabbat wiping out entire Paths of Enlightenment, destroying the True Black Hand, Revenant families defecting to the Camarilla, Tremere leaving his body and wiping out all the Tremere anti-tribu in the ritual to do so, etc. are all fine ideas. They give a very strong sense that things are breaking down. In such a world, the Masquerade is going to break down. Which is not that much of a problem because human society will start to self-destruct too since Gehenna is just one aspect of the end of the world. The very concept of this chronicle requires the setting become something unrecognizable. That can be a very intriguing, fascinating, and fun chronicle.

              But if people just want Gehenna to be a looming threat that may or may not happen in the near or distant future, and they want to keep all the toys in the toybox to use again and again, then all of these concepts from Revised are just terrible.

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              • #8
                Interesting, probably my favorite NPC after Saulot

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                  Ur-Shulgi is a perfectly fine character if an ST actually wants to run a Gehenna chronicle where the PCs roleplay out the beginning of the end of the world and thus the beginning of the destruction of the actual game setting itself. Which is what the Revised Developer Justin Achilli wanted the setting to be.

                  He's a terrible character to exist in any chronicle that is NOT about Gehenna and the end of the world.

                  The problem is that most STs and players do NOT want their chronicles to be about Gehenna and the destruction of the game's setting. They want a stable Camarilla. They want the Sabbat to be recognizably Sabbat. They want all the toys to remain in the toybox so they can keep using them.

                  Unfortunately, this was not limited to Ur-Shulgi. Revised introduced a lot of concepts that simply harm the setting if it is not a Gehenna-style chronicle where everything breaks down. If Gehenna is going to happen, then major things like the Gangrel leaving the Camarilla en masse, the Sabbat wiping out entire Paths of Enlightenment, destroying the True Black Hand, Revenant families defecting to the Camarilla, Tremere leaving his body and wiping out all the Tremere anti-tribu in the ritual to do so, etc. are all fine ideas. They give a very strong sense that things are breaking down. In such a world, the Masquerade is going to break down. This is not that much of a problem because human society will start to self-destruct too since Gehenna is just one aspect of the end of the world. The very concept of this chronicle requires the setting to become something unrecognizable. That can be a very intriguing, fascinating, and fun chronicle.

                  But if people just want Gehenna to be a looming threat that may or may not happen in the near or distant future, and they want to keep all the toys in the toybox to use again and again, then all of these concepts from Revised are just terrible.
                  A guy watches the window shop across the street every day. The shop has two types of decorative windows, one with clear glass panels in the pattern of a Fleur de Lys, or a skull, and a stained glass window with blues, reds, yellows, and greens making a picture out of the book of Revelation, or Ragnarok.

                  Again and again, he sees customers go in and do the same thing. They buy the stained glass window, then replace every tiny bit of stained glass with a clear piece because "they don't want to deal with the colors." They want clear glass, but they keep buying the window that only comes in stained glass and replacing each piece, while the clear patterned windows just gather dust right next to them.

                  The guy scratches his head as he watches this happen, again and again...
                  Last edited by Father Enoch; 07-30-2022, 07:47 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I sincerely hate him, but not to the point of ignoring his existence. I could see myself using him, although I haven't yet. My main problem with him is that he kind of give the feel of "coming out of nowhere" and making a clan feel kind of powerless (the Tremere). I mean a clan that since the first edition was about vampire wizards and then there's a "guy" that came out of nowhere and make them look silly. It felt a bit like "fan service" and Justin Achilles way of starting the end of the setting (which sucked in my opinion). But as he is, Göring and Himmler vampires are surely worse than him lol, but he's one of my least favorite "all-powerful Methuselah" in the setting. Specially because having him breaking the curse, that was theoretically enforced by Tremere himself, felt like "Gary Sue". He's damn powerful and all, sure, but he doesn't have Blood Sorcery 10.

                    In the end, I could see myself using him in a story, he's far from being as well-developed as Mithras, Shaitan, Goratrix, Menele, Helena or Baba Yaga, but could still see some use.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Father Enoch View Post

                      A guy watches the window shop across the street every day. The shop has two types of decorative windows, one with clear glass panels in the pattern of a Fleur de Lys, or a skull, and a stained glass window with blues, reds, yellows, and greens making a picture out of the book of Revelation, or Ragnarok.

                      Again and again, he sees customers go in and do the same thing. They buy the stained glass window, then replace every tiny bit of stained glass with a clear piece because "they don't want to deal with the colors." They want clear glass, but they keep buying the window that only comes in stained glass and replacing each piece, while the clear patterned windows just gather dust right next to them.

                      The guy scratches his head as he watches this happen, again and again...
                      I don’t get it, and it frustrates me when I don’t get stuff. Can you please explain?

                      I neither love Ur-Shulgi nor hate him. He’s just an NPC to me; he’s just there. I like that he was a child when he was alive, but that’s cause I like the concept of super-powered children/teens. I think he makes a decent villain.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Lysander View Post
                        I'm just curious as he can't be the only misfire that this series created.
                        While there's a lot of interesting considerations about the character from many angles, I'll first take the question asked head-on.

                        Yes, there is competition.

                        Ur-Shulgi is the most recent big misfire in terms of official NPCs, and his place in the final metaplot really gave him a very prominent position in Post-Judgement discussions, that's why you'll mostly read about him than other big misfires. But they existed, plenty of them.

                        Based only on visible community reaction, which is a very problematic method, but the one I have right now, I'd say this dubious honor is actually still solidly in the hands of a dude called Samuel Haight. He started fine, then devolved into a series of gonzo shenanigans with increasing stakes and power moves, but decreasing writing quality to ground it, and generally became the poster child of many of the worse mistakes of 2nd edition, even more than Ur-Shulgi is for the worse of Revised.

                        Do not read on this that either edition was bad or anything, just that those characters ended up summarizing their bad sides.

                        They're also extremely high profile, which is a very important characteristic for this reaction. Vampire Himler is bad, but just a side-piece in Berlin by Night. That means far less layers know about him and, even if everyone knew, his impact on the setting is minimal, so few people will have strong opinion attached to the character. Both Ur-Shulgi and, for the plots of the time, Haight are central points on huge events, things that are hard to ignore while following the setting's development. Haight's story basically was the metaplot for a time.

                        My personal opinion is that Ur-Shulgi is a worse character and with a more harmful impact, and I do hate him more. But that's me. Sam probably gets the prize in the long run and for more players, just because even Ur-Shulgi couldn't be so ridiculous.

                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        Is Ur-Shulgi actually hated or loved to hate?
                        Both. Any one of those for some, both for others, as they're not self-excluding.

                        The problem with Ur-Shulgi is two fold. One of those Black Fox explained very well, the guy is, as you said it, a wrecking ball on the setting. It comes and just breaks half a dozen centuries old aspects of life for no other reason than he can and wants to.

                        Yet, what really pisses people off is the second aspect: he's a stupid character. Not as in what he does is bad. What he did would be done anyway. He was a plot device to produce a number of changes to the Banu Haqim that were in the making already, the wrecking ball part was a given in context, whatever your opinion on it is.

                        What adds insult to it is simply that Ur-Shulgi is a boring character that comes out of nowhere, shows less personality than a wooden plank, and shows his power with what amounts to him waving his pinky and the setting going boom. Not that it was literally that, but that it was literarily that. There's no drama, no building tension, no interesting presentation, no nothing.

                        So you either buy into the basic premise or you don't. The premise is that with the coming Gehenna, old horrors are awakening and the modern world, including modern Kindred society, is nothing against them. I mean, that's not a bad premise for a game. But it isn't the only one and for each player that enjoys it, there's another that finds it boring at best. And the character adds zero to it. Nothing at all.

                        I challenge anyone who likes him (and that's not a problem, be my guest if you do) to point any interesting aspect of the character other than he's a Methuselah that awoke and broke the status quo just because he can. Defending the premise itself doesn't count, it is valid already. Just give anything Ur-Shulgi has to him besides being the trope to the letter.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                          I challenge anyone who likes him (and that's not a problem, be my guest if you do) to point any interesting aspect of the character other than he's a Methuselah that awoke and broke the status quo just because he can. Defending the premise itself doesn't count, it is valid already. Just give anything Ur-Shulgi has to him besides being the trope to the letter.
                          I admit to a certain level of appreciation for Ur-Shulgi's anti-religiosity as well as its relationship to the Baali plus the origins of the Banu Haqim. If you remove Ur-Shulgi from the context of being a huge wrecking ball to the setting, there's still some other elements to the character that you can use inside a campaign.

                          1. There's an aggressively idolatrous and cult-like group of Banu Haqim that despise the idea there's any member of their Clan who worships someone other than Haqim the antediluvian. This precludes Islam, Christianity, and other monotheistic believers but also other pre-Islamic deities. It is such an out of context problem but believable when there's an ancient who might be teaching this interpretation. It reminds me a bit of Marius who struggled with the Christian guilt of Anne Rice's later vampires because, well, he predated Christianity.

                          2. Ur-Shulgi possibly being Baali in a way that means that potentially the Sorcerer caste of the Assamites are a Baali bloodline that was "adopted" by Haqim. All of the Sorcerers are descended from Ur-Shulgi but is that because he infiltrated the ranks of the Assamites, was converted to being Baali, or is a Baali who converted to being Banu Haqim? Is it possible Ur-Shulgi sought a form of redemption in the ranks of Haqim and his fanatical loyalty is because he has seen the monsters that vampires like him fight?

                          3. Ur-Shulgi was embraced "when the skies rained blood and the moon was black" or something like that. It's interesting to possibly deal with a vampire who has a completely alien view of time and history who might well hail from an era where reaity was fundamentally different from the way it is taught. Vampires from the Dark Ages can talk about fairies and magic and witches but what about people who come from an era where gods walked among humans and physics may well have been different? Is his memory faulty or does he know a truth forgotten?


                          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Father Enoch View Post

                            A guy watches the window shop across the street every day. The shop has two types of decorative windows, one with clear glass panels in the pattern of a Fleur de Lys, or a skull, and a stained glass window with blues, reds, yellows, and greens making a picture out of the book of Revelation, or Ragnarok.

                            Again and again, he sees customers go in and do the same thing. They buy the stained glass window, then replace every tiny bit of stained glass with a clear piece because "they don't want to deal with the colors." They want clear glass, but they keep buying the window that only comes in stained glass and replacing each piece, while the clear patterned windows just gather dust right next to them.

                            The guy scratches his head as he watches this happen, again and again...
                            I'd say it's more like hes selling a stained glass and a brick smash pack combo for a good price and the owner gets increasingly annoyed you're not using the brick so he tries increasingly drastic measures structured to try and get you to launch the brick. All the while the customer is scratching his head as to why the storekeeper wants you to smash the window, never realising the window has more value.

                            At this stage 20+ years on the only people thinking about using the brick in any context are probably considering inserting it into our hypothetical salesperson as he's still constantly trying to get you to wreck your nice window. To point it might be damaging the quality of the windows.


                            As a side my current current setting meta is gehenna was cancelled when ul-shurgi and/or member of the 3rd got drone striked/vacuum bombed in prelude to the 2nd inquisition .
                            Last edited by Ragged Robin; 07-31-2022, 07:47 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Is Ur-Shurgi the most hated in VTM or is there competition?
                              He... she... it is not
                              That honor goes to Samuel Haight; former Kinfolk, former ghoul, former Skin Dancer, former Mage, currently an ashtray somewhere in the ruins of Stygia.

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